Saturday, April 12, 2014
The Judy Lecture, "Reclaiming Our Liberal Heritage and Embracing Our Hunger for Justice" will be presented live in Topeka by the Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor. The talk will be live streamed to the other locations.
Paul Rasor is Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Wesleyan College. Paul has a wide-ranging background that includes religion, law and music. He holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard, as well as a law degree (J.D.) and a music degree (B. Mus.) from the University of Michigan. He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Arlington MA and Lexington, MA, near Boston.
Paul’s academic career includes 14 years as a full-time law professor and more than 10 years teaching in theology and religious studies at a range of institutions, including Andover Newton Theological School, Harvard Divinity School, and Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center. His teaching responsibilities at Virginia Wesleyan College include courses in constitutional law and religious studies. He has received teaching awards from two universities.
Paul has published widely in both law and theology. His most recent book is Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square (2012), published by Skinner House books in Boston. He is also author of Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology in the 21st Century (2005), also published by Skinner House, and editor of From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia (2011), published by the University of Virginia Press. He has also published many articles for both scholarly and lay audiences.
Paul has also been active in various forms of community service. He went to El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua several times during the war years of the 1980’s, doing both educational and human rights work. He is a classical and a jazz trombonist, and has played with several symphony orchestras as well as small jazz combos. He is also an actor and has been involved in college and community theater since the 1970s.
by Reverend Tom Capo, Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Provide something to take away -- handouts, web page with resources, PowerPoint that can be emailed or put on the MidAmerica website; if attendees have to constantly take notes, they are less likely to remain engaged in the workshop.
- Make it interactive -- people are much more likely to stay engaged and to take some of the concepts with them if they are able to actively use the material in the workshop.
- Limit the information -- people can get easily overwhelmed with too much information. Keep the presentation focused, concrete, and succinct.
- Give examples -- real life examples and stories help people understand and integrate the material.
- Use all the senses--the more ways that people can take in the information, the more likely they are to hold onto it and feel that it was valuable. More than just talking, use images, manipulation of objects, music, movement, etc.
- Use innovative ways to remember the information -- don’t think of your presentation as a lecture. You want people to remember what you present, and they are more likely to recall the interesting, the unusual, the funny, or the emotional.